Remona Aly
Wednesday 20 June 2018 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

Salam Eid, Farewell Ramadan

Salam Eid, Farewell Ramadan
Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2, Chris Evans Breakfast Show


It was Eid last Friday, the Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and we partied like we’ve never partied before. We went all out on Eid Mubarak bunting, mountains of food that rolled out of pots and directly into our mouths; and this year, my brother even hired a massive bouncy castle where adults could unleash their inner wild child.

The morning after the night before spoke of utter carnage, but every empty bottle of halal bubbly and each shred of wrapping paper strewn across the floor, spoke even louder of the sheer euphoria that accompanies the wondrous day of Eid.

The joy isn’t just about celebrating the fact we can eat and drink all day again – which we did royally did – but more than that, it’s about celebrating what we have just achieved – of completing an entire month of fasting, of taking community spirit up a gear, and of supergluing our bond to the Divine.  

Every evening when I could break my 18 hour fast in Ramadan, there was an inordinate amount of happiness, as you can imagine. But when the sun lowered her dimming head over the horizon on the final day, I bit into a delicious date with tears in my eyes, knowing that the beautiful, sacred month was leaving me. That date was the bridge between my sadness over Ramadan’s departure and my joy for Eid’s arrival.

It’s like we are all bridges. On either side of us lies sorrow or happiness, and life makes us head either way all the time. Yet embracing both directions can take us on the same path of love.

The 16th century Sufi Muslim poet and scholar, Shaykh Fayd Fayyadi, wrote: “When travelling love’s pathway, never stop turning your soul toward the eternal sun. But since the Real Shines forth from every direction, why aim your prayers at only one spot?”

My prayers, my joy, my love isn’t just for Ramadan and Eid, it’s for life. The test for me lies in carrying all the goodness and blessings beyond one spot, so that whichever direction life takes me, or I take life, I will always do my best to turn my soul towards the sun.